White House announces $1B for AI, quantum mechanics initiative

Microsoft, John Deere and IBM will be participating in the initiative, National Science Foundation says

The White House on Wednesday announced $1 billion funding for a new initiative to advance U.S. artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics research.

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The initiative will fund 12 new, multi-disciplinary research institutes focused on AI and quantum information science (QIS) over five years in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy, as well as the private sector and academia.

"We are proud to announce that over $1 billion in funding will be geared towards that research, a defining achievement as we continue to shape and prepare this great [n]ation for excellence in the industries of the future," advisor to the president Ivanka Trump said in a statement.

Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration in February committed to doubling funding to a total of $2.2 billion for non-defense AI and quantum research by fiscal year 2022.

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The 12 institutes will be "world-class hubs for accelerating American innovation and building the 21st century American workforce," U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said in a statement.

Another goal is to make sure U.S. AI and QIS researchers, scientists and engineers take the lead against foreign adversaries, Kratsios told reporters during a press call Tuesday.

Kyle Martin, a worker at HealthMap, a system using artificial intelligence to monitor global disease outbreaks, mines health data to keep the system up to date. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

"The CCP has not shied away from twisting technologies like AI" to suppress ethnic minorities, track private citizens and monitor free speech, he said, adding that this infrastructure is critical to ensure the U.S. continues "to be the home for the next great technological advancements."

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The initiative will ensure that "every sector" of the U.S. economy is engaged in AI and QIS advancements, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. He named Microsoft, John Deere and IBM as examples of companies that will be taking part in the program.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.212.65-0.37-0.17%
DEDEERE & COMPANY295.40-7.45-2.46%
IBMINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP.128.39-0.58-0.45%

The NSF and USDA AI institutes will give $100 million to seven new AI institutes over the next five years.

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The DOE will allocate $625 million over five years— which was met with $300 million in contributions from the private sector and academia—to five DOE quantum mechanics centers led by Argonne, Brookhaven, Fermi, Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.

Additionally, the NSF and USDA are awarding $140 million to the University of Oklahoma, Norman; University of Texas, Austin; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of California, Davis; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The program is the "nation's largest single investment in AI to date," Panchanathan said, and the investment will continue to grow throughout the next year.

The initiative is expected to help advance AI and QIS research and development in the agriculture, meteorology/climate research, machine learning, education and chemistry/bioengineering industries.

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